Empire of Necessity Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World
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Description: From the acclaimed author of Fordlandia, the story of a remarkable slave rebellion that illuminates America’s struggle with slavery and freedom during the Age of Revolution and beyondOne morning in 1805, off a remote island in the South Pacific, Captain Amasa Delano, a seal hunter, climbed aboard a distressed Spanish slaver. He spent all day on the ship, distributing food and water, yet failed to see that the slaves, having seized control and slaughtered most of the crew, were no longer humble servants but in charge. When Delano finally realized the deception, he responded with explosive violence.Drawing on research on four continents, Empire of Necessity is the untold history of this extraordinary event and its bloody aftermath. With the same gripping storytelling praised in Fordlandia, historian Greg Grandin tracks the West African slaves through the horrors of the Middle Passage and their forced march from the Argentine pampas to the cold, high Andes, providing a new transnational history of slavery in the Americas. He also follows Delano, an idealistic, antislavery New Englander, as he kills the slaves and hunts seals to extinction—his slide from benevolence to barbarism an expression of the human exploitation and environmental destruction that marked the early years of American expansion.Delano’s blindness that day has already inspired one masterpiece—Herman Melville’s Benito Cereno. Now Grandin returns to the event to paint an indelible portrait of a new nation that believes itself to be a beacon of freedom, law, and reason but is driven instead by darker and more violent ambitions.
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List price: $30.00
Copyright year: 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Publication date: 1/14/2014
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.25" tall